Caption from Someone’s Flickr Album: “As I stood on the sidelines of the B2B, I befriended an older woman who was cheering on and “woowooing” everyone who passed by. We started shouting out to each other whenever we saw the first runner of a kind–first pirate! first banana! first kid! first pope! first man in a dress! This was our first naked woman to pass by.”
As you know, I ran the Bay to Breakers naked. After the race, I couldn’t wait to retrieve my picture as proof that I had done something so wacky. It just so happens that the pictures I pulled up were linked to some Black chick whose crinkled bib number looked like my number. I know I’m dark, but I ain’t black!
What a letdown. I was totally distraught. Now no one would believe that I actually ran the race in the buff.
Bless his soul, someone from the Bare to Breakers group that I ran with sent me two snapshots of myself naked. They were fuzzy, but at least I had evidence!
Last week, I received an email that demonstrates the power of the internet, the power of sleuthing, the power of stalking. Artie, for your reference, I mean ‘stalking’ in the nicest of connotations.
Here’s the email:
Miss. Catherin Gacad,
I’m terrible in English, I’m already intimidated by you’r English skills…
I have been browsing the photos at http://www.sportphoto.com/ for some interesting photos. OK, I was looking for the interesting photos of the ladies…. I came across you’r photo and lucky me, you were holding you’r bid # from a far but I could barely read it…. i wasn’t even sure it was correct….
Any way, now i know it’s correct! With the bid # I got you’r name and website and found some other photos you may be interested in here:
My question to you is this… Why would a highly educated, intelligent and church going women like you’r self want to run the race naked?? i think the female body is very beautiful and that is why I was looking for the photos in the first place but i wouldn’t expect someone like you’r self to run naked… Did you know you’r photos are on the web??? Did you expect that?? Will this be a detriment to you’r career??
There were just a few other female athletes that ran the bay to breakers completely naked…
OK, I’m a 50 year old single guy. I’ve never been married, hey I’ve never had a girl friend…. i guess i’m pretty lonely…. I’ve never been locked up or arrested….. i’m 50 years old… i grew up in Texas but now live in columbus, Ohio…..
I hope to hear from you… I’m some what depressed now.
Thank You, Artie
Artie, you sent me a treasure-trove of pictures I didn’t think existed. THANK YOU! By the way, aren’t I hot? I didn’t actively look for pictures of myself from the race day, but I truly appreciate the leg-work you’ve done in locating them for me. You’re the best!
In response to your questions, I ran the race naked because for the first time in a very long time, I was comfortable with my body. I guess it was just my way of proving it to myself. I didn’t do it for others. I seriously did it for myself, for my own personal reasons.
I know it must be hard to imagine a driven, successful person doing something like this. Society likes to place people in categories and those categories seem to determine what people can and cannot do. I’ve always been an over-achiever. I knew I would go to the best schools. I knew I would work for a great company. But I never let that ambition keep me from doing exactly what I really want to do. I hated my first job out of college. A true over-achiever would have lined up something else first. I just up and quit, and sold stocks from my portfolio to pay my rent. It was what I wanted to do. Quit. Same thing here. I’m not trying to live up to anyone’s expectations. Only my own.
A detriment to my career? Was Paris Hilton’s sex video a detriment to her career? This is my own personal business. I don’t run around the office naked!
Never been locked up or arrested? Artie, did anyone ever tell you…less is more.
Given my recent history, I’m on my way to being a 50 year old single girl. But Artie, it’s all good. Marriage is over-rated anyway, right? I would just concentrate on doing things you enjoy like spending time with family and friends. That’s what I do. And I’m truly happy.
Good luck, Artie. All the best to you. Thanks again for finding and sending me these pictures.
There isn’t a topic that generates more interest than running the Bay to Breakers naked. ‘Weren’t you cold?’ ‘Didn’t your boobs hurt?’ ‘Did you do it alone?’ Mind you, the Bay to Breakers isn’t a regular race. Thousands of people run it. It’s zany. People run in costumes. There are floats like the Michael Jackson Daycare Center. The streets are lined with throngs of cheering onlookers and bands. Runners also happen to strut in the buff.
My parents, aunts and uncles, even my friends’ parents flipped out. ‘What?!’ ‘No you didn’t!’ ‘What did your mother say?’ ‘Naked?? Naked??’
I’m sure most people think I ran the B2B for shock value. But this time, there was a personal issue I had come to terms with. I finally, finally stopped detesting my body.
I’m a recovering anorexic. In January, I said good-bye to my wonderful therapist, thanked her profusely for what she had done, and started my own road to recovery. It was the first time in years, I went without professional help.
I’m a junk food addict. I hate fruit, love chocolate. As a kid, I came home from school and helped myself to bowls–multiple bowls–of ice-cream. As a teenager, I had the body of a boy: flat-chested and thin. 75 pounds thin.
You’ve heard of the freshman 15. I gained the freshman 50. Put a voracious junk food addict (who never learned the concept of moderation) in an all-you-can-eat buffet-style dorm environment and watch her grow. I finished my first year in college weighing in at an obese 130 pounds. I’m five feet tall! I easily lost the weight, but the fear of being fat again stuck in the back of my head.
When I felt like I was gaining weight, I stopped eating. Sometimes, I’d go for a day. Other times, I’d go for a week. People find it hard to believe, but it’s true. I’d take calories in through liquids, but for days and days I would not eat a single thing. It wasn’t just about not eating. I abused diet pills, drank laxative teas. I stepped on a scale 20, 30, 40 times a day. I exercised to exhaustion. I constantly calculated calories, keeping a running total in my head at all times.
They say I’m a textbook anorexic–a perfectionist with extreme behavior patterns with an all or nothing attitude towards life. Very true. Therapy used to be such a struggle and a test of my patience. During sessions, I would scream “What is wrong with wanting to be 80 pounds? What’s so crazy about struggling to reach your goals? If I starve, I starve. No pain, no gain, right?”
All I can say is that having an eating disorder was exhausting and frustrating and unbearable. To a certain extent, I think I’ll always be anorexic, meaning that fear will never leave my head. I still step on a scale every morning. Without fail. But I no longer count calories. I don’t deprive myself. I eat when I’m hungry and even when I’m full, I still make room for dessert.
A damper of a posting, but I’m not looking for sympathy. In fact, it’s not something I like to talk about at all. If someone brought it up, I would probably turn bright red and try to change the topic. So this one isn’t a vignette. It’s more like Vixen’s Truth. Or her skeleton in the closet…literally a skeleton.
But if there’s one thing that could have really helped me–besides my last therapist who I respected and trusted–it would have been finding someone else who had struggled with an eating disorder and prevailed. This posting is really dedicated to anyone out there who has an unhealthy relationship with food or their body. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like. You can contact me anytime. And I know this great therapist who would probably be shocked…and proud to know that I ran a race in the buff.
This is embarrasing story #588,601. I was telling my friend Joy this story the other day. I figured I might as well document it for safe keeping.
I dated this guy Justin who lives in a warehouse with four other people. It’s like a commune. I’m already wary of older guys who live with one roommate let alone four roommates. I hated going to his place. I made a vow to never date someone who lived outside of the city and here I was breaking one of my holiest covenants, driving practically to the airport to visit him. Ugh.
My friend says, “I’d rather have a long distance relationship with a New Yorker than date a guy who doesn’t live in the city.” I couldn’t agree more.
I was already in a pissy mood having driven to Justin’s place. That was compounded by my fatigue from having worked a long day. Pissy-pissy-pissy. Barely one hour had passed before I declared, “I’m really exhausted. I just want to go to bed.” Justin told me to go lay down on his bed. He would join me in a while; he still wanted to chat with his roommates. “Of course,” I sulked, “there are enough of them.”
I make my way to his room. I’m in a bad enough mood that it doesn’t even phase me that he doesn’t have a regular bed. It’s a fucking blow-up mattress! My parents immigrated to this country with absolutely nothing. Nada. But I know they weren’t spending their nights in sleeping bags. My parents understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and back support.
I angrily throw myself onto the quasi-bed. The whistling noise of deflation fills the silence of the room. I’m too tired to cry. If I had had the energy to cry, I would have surely revved up my car and driven back to my city of lights and high-rises.
I’m drifting. The sheep are lining up to be counted. I’m a few heartbeats away from real sleep and rapid eye movement. Pump, pump, pump. I shudder awake. What the hell is disturbing my impending sleep? There’s Justin beside the mattress, pumping away. I’m ready to pounce like a tiger going in for the kill. How dare he interrupt my peace. In my mind, it’s over. I tell myself, “you just have to make it to the morning. You can do it.”
My friend Joy is laughing as I recount the story. “You deserve more than a blow-up mattress. You deserve a Sealy Posturpedic!” Oh, the finer things in life.
I think I know why I’m still single. I get annoyed really easily. I’m sitting here at The Grove on Fillmore–my favorite cafe. Side note: it’s really only my fave because they make their own scrumptious chocolate chip cookies that are thin and flat and pan-sized. They are literally pan-sized. I come here 2-3 times during the work week and every day of the weekend. I’m practically a living, breathing chocolate chip cookie. They know me here. I walk in and the people go to the back and make sure I get the freshest batch. They make fantastic cookies. If it weren’t for that, I’d be at Cafe Abir on Divisadero instead. The lighting at The Grove is terrible. I’m about to go blind writing my blog here. Damn that sweet tooth.
During my tenure here, I’ve unwillingly listened in on uncomfortable first dates, uninspiring banter of friends, and frustrating hand signals between the Spanish-speaking workers and the unsympathetic whities of lower Pacific Heights. I don’t know why, but the particular conversation to my left at this very moment underscores how glad I am that I’m still single. Apparently, this couple has just moved and for the past half hour they continue to detail the number of boxes still left to unpack. “8 more kitchen ones, right?” I want to shoot them. Talk about something else: the weather, your sex life, anything but boxes. Get over it. This is how a conversation about moving should play out in real life: “Not done packing yet. Still have a lot more boxes to go. So, how ’bout them Giants?” Nope. Boxes and more boxes. They’re still at it. Damn, build a friggin Access database if it’s that complicated.
I’m such a whiner. One of my biggest annoyances–cheap dates. I think that ranks right up there with vegetarians and born-again zealots. Even the blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while so keep looking, fellas. I’m not interested!
I’ve had my fair share of cheap dates. This isn’t a rarity and I’m sure some of you are reading right now. Maybe I’m a little spoiled; my exes spoiled me rotten. They still do. I was in for a real shock when I immersed myself into the world of dating. In business school, I was delighted when a handsome, intelligent, and witty guy asked me out. He was the winning combination. Our first date was at a swanky bar. We were having a fabulous time. Then the bill came. He said, “Hmmm, how do you want to handle this?” I was flabbergasted. He might as well have announced, “I want you to suck my cock.”
Thoughts of having his children ceased immediately. I was so shocked, I gave him a quizzical look. “How ‘ bout we split?” he suggested. I threw my credit card down and looked away. Inside my head, the furor boiled over, “You were the one who asked me out, you asshole.” This is the same guy who made it very clear that when he came to b-school, he left a high-paying job that had allowed him to purchase a home. Further, he was on his way to an even better paying job on Wall Street. “Fuck you, you cheapo!”
I couldn’t believe it. This is something I would expect in undergrad with a bunch of granola hippies gearing up to work for non-profits. Not at business school for God’s sake.
I’m not some pampered, diva-esque Anna Nicole Smith scouring the convalescent homes for 90-year-old billionaires on life support. I’m self-supporting, thank you very much. But it’s a matter of principle. Guys make more than women. That is a fact. I love my friend Marc’s sexist and veritable honesty, “How do you wake up in the morning knowing that you’re a minority female? How do you do it? You’re smarter than me, even better-educated. But I will always make more money than you being the white male that I am. I feel so sorry for you.” It’s a slap in the face. Catty and true. That’s why I love Marc. He’s friggin hilarious and tells it like it is.
I repeat, men make more than women. Men should pay–especially on the first date. It’s the proper, gentlemanly thing to do. If there’s a problem with that, then there’s something seriously wrong in the world. Or fellas, figure out a way to subsidize your income because no woman wants a cheap dude. Period.
When kids are punished, their parents ground them for a week or a month. They get sent to their room. An earlier curfew is enforced. An allowance is withheld. As a teenager, I used to babysit a lot of kids. Their parents would advise, “If Mary starts acting up, you can give her a time out.” A wuh? This sort of discipline was all very foreign to me–as I was raised by foreigners.
My mom never resorted to the disciplinary actions mentioned above. Nope. Instead of time outs, my sister and I got ‘The Glare.’ Even if that did the trick and we had learned our lesson, but my mom still hadn’t satiated her threshold for punishment, we got ‘The Slipper.’ I’m not talking about a flimsy, plastic flip-flop that she used to pat our behinds. No sirree. My mom brought out one of her wooden heels and unleashed vengeance upon our very extremely sorry little asses. She called it ‘The Slipper.’ Because she’s an immigrant, I’m going to cut her a little slack on her vocabulary, but it surely wasn’t a slipper. It was more like a sledgehammer in the form of a shoe!
Either way, being punished by my mom was not pretty. Punishment aside, I’ve always wanted to please my parents. I want them to be proud of me.
That said, my previous post caused quite a ruckus recently. At my nephew’s christening last week, the topic of my marijuana overdose came up–much to everyone’s dismay. I ignored the catty gossip and presumed it would never come up again. But my aunt sent my blog link to my mom. In turn, my mom (who probably has my blog bookmarked now) sent me an email expressing her concern. She warned me to stay away from people who would offer me drugs. ‘Do Not Trust Anyone’ her subject line called out. Essentially, I was told to cut the reckless behavior. The email of course was espoused in love and concern. My mom hadn’t given me The Glare. The Slipper hadn’t come out, but I still felt awful. Mentally, I felt like I’d been grounded.
I love my parents. I love my sister and brother-in-law. I love my family and friends. But I don’t handle criticism very well. So listen up. I’m an adult now. Parents have approximately 18 years to mold their children into the best adults that they can be. After that, you’ve got to cut your losses and say that you’ve done the best that you can. Because after the age of 18, you can say sayonara to whatever grip you had on your kids.
I’m 30. I can make my own decisions and I appreciate your concern. We grew up in different environments, different cultures, different time periods. Growing up in the 50′s in the Philippines is not the same as growing up in the 80′s in America. I may be the child of immigrants (which, by the way, I’m very proud of), but at my core, I am an American–a risk-taking business girl in love with corporate America and a hippie who demands absolute freedom.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank the family members who ratted me out to my parents. Thank you. By the way, do you know that your kids do drugs, too?! But so what? Maybe it seems like a big deal because the value of a nickelbag of pot is equivalent to the GDP of the Philippines. Maybe marijuana seems so awful because it’s a DRUG. God forbid, our kids are doing drugs. Oh no!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. People do drugs. Do you honestly believe that Bill Clinton did not inhale? Should I steer clear of people who do drugs? Stay away from the ex-president? I realize I should stay away from him for other reasons. Right, Lewinsky?
Mom, if it was such a concern, you shouldn’t have insisted that I go to Berkeley. The 60′s. The Free Speech Movement. Hello??? Those plants and shrubs surrounding the campus…that’s marijuana! If I should stay away from people who do drugs, then that means I should not talk to a single person that I graduated with. Everyone at Berkeley tried it at least once. Yeah, and they’re smart, successful people. They’re lawyers, doctors, politicians. These same people still take a whiff every once in a while.
Society condemns drugs. Drugs are bad. It’s what we’re conditioned to believe. And they are bad in excess. Anything’s bad in excess. Anything’s bad if it impedes you from living a productive life. Sure, people die. That’s unfortunate. There are also athletes who suddenly keel over and die from heart attacks. Does that mean I should stop exercising?
I believe it’s all about self-discipline. I don’t abuse drugs. I know when enough is enough. At Burning Man, I went too far and now I know. It won’t happen again. Like I said before, this issue made me feel like my parents had grounded me. Like I’d been sent to my room, or given a time-out. A double entendre is there as well. My parents raised me right. My family and friends support me. I’m mentally grounded in who I am to make my own decisions and to live with the consequences. Life is what you make of it.
For the first time, I’m going to open my blog up for comments. I hadn’t before because I didn’t want people commenting on my life. But I might as well make it a free for all. This is what I get for publishing what is sort of like my own personal diary on the web. Let me hear your thoughts. Fess up, all you drug addicts. I can’t be the only black sheep in a family.